How to Lay Brick Pavers on Dirt

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A temporary backyard patio and or casual brick walkway are two types of surfaces you can build with brick pavers. Laying bricks on dirt is not complicated, but there are several steps involved to ensure the bricks will not shift or sink into the dirt over time. Create the layout and design for the brick surface and calculate the number of pavers you'll need to purchase before you begin construction. Walking the intended path or sitting on the patio site will help you check whether the space will meet your needs.

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Things You'll Need

Laying Brick Pavers on Dirt

Step 1: Mark the Borders

Measure your walkway or patio site and insert garden stakes halfway into the ground to mark the borders of the site, adding about 3 inches to each side for the edge restraints. Tie or wind a string around the stakes.

Step 2: Remove the Grass

Insert a spade into the ground along the borders and slide it under the grass, deep enough to remove the roots. Continue to remove the grass and other growth from the area within the borders. Transplant the grass immediately to a bare area in your yard if needed.

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Step 3: Tamp the Exposed Soil

Pound a hand tamper over the exposed soil. Apply as much force as possible to compact the ground, stabilizing it for the bricks. Use a bubble level to verify the soil is level, and dig out high areas as needed. If you notice the soil is dry or sandy, mix about a 1-inch-thick layer of cement powder with the soil to firm it up and then compact it.

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Step 4: Secure Landscape Fabric Over the Soil

Lay pieces of landscape or geotextile fabric over the soil to firm up the base, improve drainage, and deter weeds from growing between the bricks. Secure the edges so they don't show.

Step 5: Install Edge Restraints

Arrange edge restraints against the inner walls of the compacted soil. Fasten the restraints down with 9-inch nail spikes through the edging holes.

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Step 6: Set and Level the Bricks

Place the bricks on the dirt so they are flush against each other, following your pattern. Begin at one end or corner and work your way across. Place a wooden board across each small section of bricks, and hit the board gently with a hammer to embed the bricks in the dirt and level them with each other. Continue setting and leveling the bricks until the dirt site is filled.

Step 7: Add Stone Dust

Pour stone dust over the bricks and sweep it into the small crevices. Moisten the bricks; then add more stone dust and continue sweeping it between bricks until the spaces are filled. The dust will pad the bricks and act as a barrier against weeds.

Tip

It's important to keep in mind that features like patios and walkways that are installed within 10 feet of your home should slope down at a 2 percent grade away from the foundation to ensure proper drainage.

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